Monday, June 11, 2012

Forum June 11 Issue Name Correction

In the June 11th issue of The Forum a name was listed incorrectly on the front page.  The photo caption should read as follows:  Bottom Left: STLCC Board of Trustee's member Craig H. Larson and Vice Chancellor of Technology and Educational Support and Services J. Craig Klimczak, D.V.M., M.S.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Act Well Thy Part: One Act Performance Art

 By Cammy Blount of the Fourm

Photos provided by Marie McCool / Terry M. Fisher Theatre

It was a night of romance and laughter during this year’s evening of one acts at the Florissant Valley Terry M. Fisher Theater.  Opening night proved to be unusually exciting with an abundant turnout. While each piece was unique in it’s own right, they each utilized light humorous themes. For sure, they were one for the books, these one act plays, each keeping the viewers’ eyes glued to the stage.


Water and Wine
By Stuart Spencer
Directed by Chris Stevens

In a small European village, two men, Buonarroti (Daniel Ludwig) and Jiuliano (Marty Cosentino) visit winemaker Giovannie (Scott Martin) and his son Enrico (Christopher Armstead) to purchase a rare sculpture. During the visit, Buonarroti and Enrico discuss Enrico’s passion to become an artist, with Buonarroti suggesting that Enrico is not indeed cut out for such a profession.  Martin portrayed his character well with a nicely a placed accent and authentic peasant persona.  Ludwig, however, stole the show with a very passionate monologue about religion, art and creation.  The stage set was simple yet creative, with a table, closet and wine rack portraying a wine cellar.

Alien Hand Syndrome
By Michael Erickson
Directed by Taylor Gruenloh

The timid Mark (Bregt Bogaerts) begins to live vicariously through his uncontrollable right hand, similar to that of the 1999 hit film Idle Hands. In a comical turn of events, he insults his boss Mr. Smalls (Alexander L. Hylton) through a mass email, seduces his coworker Emily (Chelsea McDaniel) and gets into a brawl with himself. It is reveled that his right hand’s behavior is a manifestation of an inner persona named Hank.  Bogaerts and McDaniel kept the theater filled with laughter, with Bogaerts throwing himself into his role, literally and figuratively.  The stage was quickly turned from a wine cellar into a street, then movie theater, then a home. During the movie theater scene, the light crew uniquely cast shadows and reflections to mimic a theater screen.

The Boor
By Anton Chekhov
Directed by Daniel J. Betzler

Debt collector Grigori Stepanovitch Smirnov (Sherard Curry) visits widow Helena Ivanovna (Kayleigh Clark) to collect money owed by her deceased husband. The two become infuriated, challenging each other to a dual as the servant (Kareem Spann) tries to divert the conflict. In a twist of events, the two become infatuated with one another.  Clark’s portrayal was a bit lukewarm, with a lazily placed accent and desaturated emotions.  In contrast, Curry’s character portrayal was very colorful, with clear facial expressions, loud voice projection and a believable British accent. The stage crew transformed the home from the previous performance into a mansion. 

By P.J. Gibson
Directed by
Renee Thomas Woods

Couple Nanyel (Jayden Reign) and Derek (Richard Ross) meet after a year of separation to rekindle the flames in their marriages, only to find that they have grown apart. At first glance, Derek is loving and warm, while Nanyel is cold and prissy.  We soon find that the separation is a result of Derek’s transformation into an unsympathetic politician, in turn inspiring Nanyel’s change of heart.  Reign and Ross gave remarkable performances, each projecting their voices and character emotions well. The mansion in the previous performance was transformed into a cabin and during an intense discussion between Nanyel and Derek, a storm rolls in and the lights are adjusted and flickered to cast the illusion of a power outage. 

Fruits & Veggies On The Go

Metro Transit Offers Summertime
Traveling Farmers Market  

By Devese Ursery of the Forum

  Traveling on public transportation is hard enough, add having to stop at a grocery store and travel becomes even more of a hassle. Sappington Farmer’s Market and Metro Transit have partnered to bring about a resolution to your inconvenience. Imagine getting off of the train at the Metro Link Station or a bus at the Metro Bus Center and the first thing that you see is a makeshift farmer’s market with fresh organic foods. Well to the surprise of many Metro passengers their wish has been granted. 
  The Mobile Market, a community initiative program launched by Sappington’s Farmer’s Market, will sell affordably priced, locally produced, fresh foods at certain MetroLink Stations and MetroBus Centers. The Mobile Market will peddle such seasonal foods as eggs, vegetables, fruits, and value-added items like jams, jellies, and breads under the brand name Farm to Family Naturally. The joint venture between Metro Transit and Farm to Family Naturally Mobile Market will give commuters and neighborhood residents more convenient access to healthy fruits and vegetables produced locally and around the country.
  The Mobile Market, which started on March 18, 2012 and continues through October, will roll into three Metro Transit Centers located in areas where nearby citizens have little to no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. “The Farm to Family Naturally Mobile Market at these metro transit centers is a great initiative that not only addresses the deep connection between accessible transportation and healthy food choices, but also provides a proactive solution through community partnership. Metro looks forward to more opportunities to work with organizations to bring economic and social value to our customers and communities,” said John Langa, Metro’s vice president of economic development.
  The Mobile Market will connect nearby residents and Metro customers to better health, good nutrition and accessible transportation through locally grown foods supplied by Missouri and Illinois farm families. Customers will be able to purchase the healthy options by cash, credit/debit cards, or governmental food assistance programs (EBT).

The Mobile Market will serve the
following centers on the listed days and times below:

Delmar MetroLink Station      
Tuesday 1pm-4pm

North Hanley MetroLink station
     Wednesday 3pm-5:30pm

Emerson Park MetroLink Station, East St. Louis, Ill.
 Fridays 9am-noon

Women's Financial Education Class

Joplin Tree Dedication Planned

In May 2011, a tornado touched down in Joplin, Mo that ravaged and destroyed most of the city and caused 162 fatalities.   Flo Valley along with many others across the nation joined hands to assist in the relief efforts for the citizens of Joplin. Flo Valley raised $2,000 that was matched dollar for dollar by the Arbor Day Foundation. 

The SGA planted a maple tree behind the Terry M. Fischer Theatre, near the time capsule, in memory of the Missourians that lost their lives and to commemorate the relief efforts.  The tree dedication will be held on Wednesday, June 20, 2012 from 11 am to 1 pm. There will also be an icecream social immediately after the ceremony to celebrate the achievement. For questions please contact Campus Life at 314-513-4155

Learn the German Language at STLCC Florissant Valley

Photo by Bradley J. Rayford/Forum
Above: STLCC FV Professor Christel Handel

By Holly Shanks of the Forum

   Florissant Valley is offering German language classes and even a chance to put those new skills to use in Germany.  The classes are offered in the fall semester with German I and German II in the Spring semester.  A possible trip to Germany is being planned for 2013 and would be an optional trip.
  The culture is not just something students will learn only through the textbook. Students will get first hand accounts from a professor who settled in America directly from Germany. Christel Handel, adjunct professor of economics and German language at STLCC-FV, teaches the classes and lends insights into her heritage that will enhance the student’s understanding of Germany and the language.         
 Along with class room studies, the students may take optional field trips to examine and learn about German artifacts in the Art Museum, eat at a German restaurant or have a chance to meet and have discussions with new German immigrants in the St. Louis area. 
  Handel states that the German culture has had many influences in America. Some of the influences include medical advancements, including x-rays and a German tailor named Levi Strauss, that saw a need for sturdy work wear and used the material that covered wagons to create pants. Today, those pants have evolved into Levi Strauss jeans and are recognized world-wide.      
  Scholarship programs for study abroad as well as finding a work study or employment in Germany is a growing area and learning the German language can give advantages and opportunities to anyone thinking of going to Germany for academic or employment reasons. For more information on scholarships and international student exchange programs in Germany visit
 Travel to Germany will give students a chance to use the skills learned in the STLCC-FV German language classes. Using the language while directly interacting with the German population and their culture will help give a deeper understanding and relation to what the students have learned. More information about the optional trip to Germany will be released in the near future.  
  Handel is an enthusiastic American and German immigrant who is excited to offer her experiences and the German language to students at Flo Valley. “When you know a different language you gain an extra soul,” she says with passion.
  Handel states that she was a co-founder for the German American Heritage Society (GAHS) in St. Louis and many people in the area have German heritage. Anyone interested in tracing a German ancestry can visit for more information.
 Questions for the German classes or the possible 2013 trip to Germany please contact Kelly Mueller at 314-513-4136 or


Fear Not The Crossover

By Holly Shanks
of the Forum

       Life without music is simply unthinkable. For some, it would be like stealing the breath from their bodies and dooming them to a life of gloomy agony if suddenly their music was taken away. Their music simply is part of them and can help define part of who they are. 
     Generally, music fans are loyal, dedicated people who upon hearing their favorite songs can feel rhythm wrap around them and set their senses ablaze till every nerve ending pulsates along with the beat. Not only do just the fans experience that feeling, but some musicians drip with sheer music ecstasy while they play.
     If one pays close enough attention, for instance, to a guitarist like Zakk Wylde as he rips through a solo, the onlookers are usually in awe of the amazing force and commanding presence exhibited through the performer and guitar.
     Wylde’s consciousness looks  absorbed into the instrument as it sends ripples of sound out to touch the audience. It is moments like those that keep fans coming back and packing arenas around the globe to see their favorite artist.
     Lyrics are another intertwining part of the music world that can hold special meaning for people. The words can settle on a soul like a misty shroud sent to nurse a broken heart, or maybe help capture a moment in life that will endure into memory, and can even define a generation. Sometimes words and music can even permeate and uplift the spirit with sheer freedom and the joy of renewal.
     Inspiration can be found in many places and forms, and can encompass ingenuity, imagination and motivation. The road to opening up the mind, leave inhibitions behind and create or try something new is not always easy for everyone. Music and music genres can be part of that equation.
     Loyal fans of specific music types often resist the chance to experience other genres advancements, achievements or crossovers. There is nothing wrong with being loyal to one’s favorite music, but everyone knows somebody who makes fun of or has derogatory remarks about fans and artist from other genres. However, artist don’t always feel the same way and sometimes they can create something new that turns out to be truly special and unique.
     Take into consideration the earlier mentioned Zakk Wylde, the ex-lead guitarist for Ozzy Osborne and frontman for the Black Label Society band. He can play heavy metal guitar solos that could silence a screaming banshee into amazement, but he can also play wickedly sensual blues and move over to the piano to tickle the ivories with a classical feel. Wylde gives his fans many different sides of his talent to enjoy and to help inspire the next generation of musicians. 
     Many rock and metal fans cringe at the thought of opera and would rather record statistics on how long it takes a blade of grass to grow than even think about sitting through one single note of an operatic octave. However, what if someone put a classically trained lyric soprano in front of a metal band? It’s already been done and one will find a voice laced with power bold enough to hold its own with metals natural forcefulness. The Finnish born band Nightwish had the classically trained, Tarja Turunen, as their lead singer and they built a faithful following. There sound is distinctive and created a striking effect of smooth and rough that follows no rules and gives the ear a new multi-faceted decadence to explore.
     Finally we come to a man named David Garrett. He is breaking classical music out of its genre boundaries and is re-introducing a new audience within different generations to the original time-honored masterpieces, as well as giving rock and metal favorites a re-vamp in the most classical form of emulation.  Garrett can memorize with Queen’s “Who Wants to Live Forever” played on his violin with breathtakingly raw passion. His violin virtually is alive in his arms and speaks a language of intense seduction that is not only heard but can be physically and emotionally felt with every draw of his bow. He started playing at the age of four and according to his website,, at 13 he was the youngest artist to be contracted with the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft, a universal music company.
     As a musical child prodigy, Garrett made an impression on the classical world but as an adult he has now reached out to pull other genres of music onto his stage and challenge the status quo. Garrett now travels the globe and performs the songs he chooses on his own terms which includes a stunning mixture of musical worlds where Bach, Mozart and Beethoven meet Metallica, ACDC and John Fogerty.
     Keep the favorite music of your heart close but remember that branching out and trying something new once-in-a-while can be fun, rewarding and enlightening. It might even lead to a few new songs added to your list of musical treasures.     
Please visit the youtube videos listed below for the music that helped inspire this article.

David Garrett “Who Wants To Live Forever” by Queen
David Garrett "Vivaldi vs Vertigo"
David Garrett “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin
David Garrett “Thunderstruck” by ACDC
David Garrett “Rocking all over the world” by John Fogerty
Night Wish “Nemo”
Night Wish “Over the Hills and Far Away”
Zakk Wylde “In This River” Piano
Zakk Wylde Playing Blues Solo
Zakk Wylde Solo During Ozzy Osborne Concert

MIB 3 = MOS: More of the Same

By Marcus McDaniel
of the Forum

   The original Men In Black was released in 1997 and it looks like the franchise is beginning to show its age.  While the movie was entertaining, there was very little in Men In Black 3 to give it a fresh feel.  It was movie deja vu: “Haven't I seen this before?!”  Yes, the movie had time travel which is something new to the franchise but other than that it was the “same ol' same ol'.”  Crazy guns and tech?  Check.  Weird aliens?  Check.   Jokes?  Check.  Just like the other two movies?  Check.
  The plot involves Agent J, played by Will Smith, going back in time to 1969 to stop the assassination of his partner Agent K, played by Tommy Lee Jones.  The plot is something fresh, along with a stellar performance by Josh Brolin who plays a young Agent K.  His performance as a young Tommy Lee Jones was eerily accurate and made me actually believe he was the younger version of the surly Agent K.  The villain Boris the Animal, played by Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement, was another bright spot almost stealing every scene he was in. 
  Despite the great performances and clever plot, there still wasn't enough in this movie to wow my socks off.  The staple of the previous two films have been the over the top antics and jokes by the boatload.  Yet in this installment, the jokes were few and far between and they never really upped the crazy action and aliens from the previous films.  I didn't get that “what the …?!” moment like I felt with the first film or got many really good laughs.  Most laughs were mild chuckles at best with maybe two or three hearty ones throughout the entire movie. 
  Now don't get me wrong, MIB3 is not a bad film by any means.  I was still entertained.  The special effects were fantastic, as always, and it was pretty cool to see in 3D.  More of the same isn't necessarily a bad thing, I just expected more from a film that took a ten year break between the second and third films.  It's a great action/sci-fi/comedy and I recommend you check it out if you liked the other two.  Just don't expect something extraordinary or an over-the-top, amazing summer blockbuster like The Avengers. 7/10